Friday, January 20, 2012

★ Literary and visual texts of the American South ★

.... was / is the title of my most extensive work (actually my thesis at the Karl-Franzens Universität in Graz). My interest in the Southern literature and photography did not end with the completion of that extensive, here's a little something about a famous photographer of the South...

Walker Evans

Walker Evans, Decade by Decade

Pabst Blue Ribbon Sign, Chicago, Illinois, 1946. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Walker Evans’s early documentary photographs of poverty in the South during the Great Depression captured the public’s attention—even altering the way many Americans saw their country—and helped define his 46-year career. Yet his little–known works produced in the ensuing decades are equally as innovative. Drawn chiefly from a largely unseen private collection, and curated by the ever–inventive James Crump, the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Decade by Decade (on display through September 5), is the first exhibition spanning Evans’s work from every decade, including his years at Fortune magazine in the 1940’s, 50s, and 60s, until his death in 1975. The exhibition also debuts rare photographs from the Victorian House survey series, which Evans began in 1931, as well as prints from a trip to Tahiti the following year. As a coda, the show offers Evans’s very last images, shot in the 70s with the then–new Polaroid SX–70. Quote Evans, “The matter of art in photography may come down to this: it is the capture and projection of the delights of seeing; it is the defining of observation full and felt.”
Below: A display of both iconic and lesser–known gems from Walker Evans.

Man Posing for Picture in Front of Wooden House, 1933. © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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